Results tagged ‘ Rafael Soriano ’
Rafael Soriano is now an ex-Yankee. The right-handed reliever has landed a two-year, $28 million deal with the Washington Nationals, pending the completion of a physical, MLB.com has confirmed.
The deal also includes a $15 million option for the 2015 season that will vest if Soriano finishes 120 games over the next two seasons. It turns out that Scott Boras, a master of January deals in years past, probably knew what he was doing all along with Soriano.
It was generally accepted that Soriano and the Yankees would be parting ways after he opted out of his contract in November, forfeiting the final year of his deal and accepting a $1.5 million buyout instead of the $14 million salary he would have been due.
The Yankees made Soriano a qualifying offer of one year and $13.3 million, which he also rejected, so New York will pick up Draft compensation for Washington’s signing. There were reports that the Yankees didn’t even consider bringing Soriano back on a one-year basis, since they’d much prefer having that pick.
Soriano and the Yankees won’t have to wait too long to renew acquaintances; they’ll meet in D.C. on March 29 for an exhibition game at Nationals Park.
The Yankees fielded a call from agent Scott Boras last month asking if they’d be interested in re-signing reliever Rafael Soriano to a one-year deal, according to Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.
According to Klapisch, the request was “flatly denied.”
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has said that he is not looking for any upgrades in the bullpen, with Mariano Rivera’s one-year, $10 million deal restoring the all-time saves leader to the closer role. New York also has Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Boone Logan and David Aardsma among those who will compete for setup slots this spring.
Soriano opted out of his contract with the Yankees following the season, forfeiting the remaining $14 million he was owed for 2013 in favor of a $1.5 million buyout. The Yankees made Soriano a qualifying offer of one year at $13.3 million, which he rejected.
Because of that qualifying offer, there is Draft compensation attached to Soriano, which appears to have impacted his free agent market (the Tigers, one potential landing spot, seem like they could use Soriano’s help but have thus far kept their distance). ESPN’s Buster Olney adds that the Yankees covet that Draft pick more than they want Soriano back, “no matter the contract.”
Today will be an important day for the Yankees’ winter planning, as they’ll know by 5 p.m. ET how Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda are responding to their qualifying offers of one year at $13.3 million.
No one expects Swisher to accept the offer, not with the lure of a multi-year deal out there. The New York Daily News reports that Swisher already has five teams interested in his services, including the Mariners and Rangers.
It’s thought that agent Scott Boras will also encourage Soriano to decline the offer. But there has been speculation that Kuroda might accept his, which represents a healthy raise from the $10 million he earned this season. The Yankees definitely would like to have Kuroda back in their rotation next year.
It’s important to note that Kuroda’s options are not, apparently, limited to just the Yankees and going back to Japan. Kuroda told the Los Angeles Times‘ Dylan Hernandez, “I never said anything like that,” so we might want to consider the Dodgers as being part of the mix for Kuroda’s services as well.
- The Marlins have hired Tino Martinez as their new hitting coach. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman granted permission for Miami to talk to Martinez, who had been serving as a special assistant to Cashman. The Red Sox also reportedly showed interest in hiring Martinez.
- Interesting stuff from the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman from the GM Meetings: according to his source, Robinson Cano already feels like he has given the Yankees one hometown discount (the six-year, $57 million pact that will expire after 2013) and now he’s going to in the market for much bigger dollars. Cano has reportedly told teammates he is expecting a 10-year contract. After all, you don’t switch agents to Boras if you’re not planning on a big pay day down the road.
- Looking for a good, lengthy read on this Friday morning? The New York Times’ David Waldstein spent some time catching up with Russell Martin in Montreal, and the story provides some terrific insight into the mind of a player whose season has just ended.
TORONTO – Welcome, one and all, to the fake grass of Rogers Centre, where the Yankees begin the season’s second half. I, Alden Gonzalez, will be with the club for this eight-game road trip while Bryan Hoch gets some time off.
Today, I was greeted with the signing of lefty reliever J.C. Romero, the call-up of outfielder Greg Golson, the decision to have setup man Rafael Soriano throw one more BP session before going on a rehab assignment, and the confusion of Derek Jeter over criticism for skipping the All-Star Game.
You can find that all on Yankees.com soon, if not now. But here are your lineups, with Nick Swisher making his return (remember, the Yankees play eight straight games on artificial turf, so it’ll be interesting to see how Joe Girardi juggles the off days) …
Pitching: RH Bartolo Colon (6-4, 3.20 ERA)
Pitching: LH Jo-Jo Reyes (4-7, 4.57 ERA)
Mariano Rivera played catch in the outfield at Cleveland’s Progressive Field today and said that his sore right triceps feels better, but he still feels something in there. He’ll give manager Joe Girardi a full report after the session, but told reporters that it’d take an emergency for him to pitch tonight.
Earlier today, Rivera said the toughest person to convince is usually Gene Monahan, who’ll nod when a player says he feels OK and then tell the manager to give him another day off. You’ve seen it before, but Rivera might get a little extra leeway with Girardi because of who he is and what he’s been through.
“Basically, you know your body,” Rivera said. “Those things are going to happen. You always have some aching feelings and soreness. I’m not concerned because I haven’t done nothing wrong. I expect that it’s something that’s going to calm and go away, the same way it came.”
Other pre-game tidbits:
- Derek Jeter is in the lineup, batting leadoff and playing shortstop. Girardi said he checked with Jeter last night and today to make sure he’d be ready to go. They wouldn’t commit to a start on Wednesday here in Cleveland.
- Luis Ayala is available tonight. Cory Wade has pitched in three of four, so he’s out. Eduardo Nunez is available off the bench, Girardi said.
- Just a day off for Russell Martin after catching four straight, and a half-day for Mark Teixeira, who’s DHing while the Yanks play this stretch of 13 in a row. Girardi said that it’s to the point now where he doesn’t think twice about having Jorge Posada play first base.
- They’re expecting 100 pitches out of Phil Hughes tomorrow.
- Another setback for Eric Chavez, who felt something in his abdominal and has been sent back to New York for tests. Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano is set to throw a bullpen in Tampa tomorrow. Best case for Soriano is the first game after the All-Star break, but a little cushion room is more likely.
Yankees right-hander Rafael Soriano has been sent for another MRI examination and will be sent to see Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday, as the reliever had to cut short a flat ground throwing session on Monday after feeling more soreness in his pitching elbow.
“I’m more concerned now,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I really thought that we would have him getting ready to possibly go out on a rehab assignment shortly and that doesn’t seem to be the case now.”
Soriano signed a three-year, $35 million contract to serve as Mariano Rivera’s primary setup man. With Soriano out, the Yankees have patched together their late-inning mix by asking more of Dave Robertson and Joba Chamberlain, as well as Luis Ayala.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said last night that he has no plans to alter anything with his late-inning relief situation, which will continue to have Soriano manning the eighth innings more times than not.
“You’ve got to fight your way out of it,” Girardi said. “You keep using the guys. You get them on track. I haven’t lost any confidence in Rafael Soriano. This is a very good pitcher that just happened to give up a two-run homer.”
Soriano missed time recently with a sore lower back, though he said that wasn’t an issue on Tuesday, when he served up a go-ahead blast to the White Sox’s Paul Konerko. But he did say that it has been difficult moving into a setup role after saving an American League-leading 45 games for the Rays last season.
“It’s not easy for me,” Soriano said. “I’m trying to figure it out, how that I can do the same that I did last year. I’m struggling right now. I’ll take it and forget about it, and come back tomorrow.”
Alex Rodriguez said after the game that he believes Soriano is feeling out an adjustment process to New York, and Girardi said that he believes Soriano is equipped to get through it.
“It’s a different animal here,” Girardi said. “Some guys come in and the transition is easy. Other guys, it can be difficult. I haven’t found the transition to be really difficult for him, I just think at times he hasn’t thrown great this year. I haven’t seen anything to tell me he can’t handle it.”
Girardi also rejected the suggestion that Soriano might not adapt to the pressure of pitching in pinstripes.
“Let’s not forget that he closed 45 games in this division last year,” Girardi said. “It was a tight race. There was pressure in our division the whole year.”
Soriano’s likely not available for the Yankees tonight, having pitched on back-to-back nights.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera arrived for the team’s Spring Training on Thursday, following a two-day absence to attend to family illnesses in New York.
It was a busy Wednesday morning in the Bronx, as the Yankees introduced Rafael Soriano to the New York media, a signing that Brian Cashman acknowledged makes the team better but one that he had still vocally opposed because of the contract value and a lost first-round Draft pick.
Then, just for good measure, Cashman acknowledged that he indeed had several discussions about bringing Carl Pavano back to the Yankees, looking for someone to upgrade a rotation that still figures to include both Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre if the season started today.
Pavano signed a two-year deal with the Twins later in the day, but like we said, it was a busy morning. Here are some of the other tidbits that might have been overlooked:
Cashman: “Joba’s in the bullpen, for the 200th time” – a.k.a., The Debate is Over
Joba Chamberlain will be in the bullpen and there is no chance of him starting for the Yankees in 2011, both Cashman and Girardi said.
Here’s Girardi’s explanation: “I think Joba is going to be an important part of our bullpen. For me, I like to shorten the game as much as I can. He has a chance to be an outstanding reliever for us and I think his second half was better than his first half. I think we could really have a close down bullpen where the game gets really short. When you’re called upon to pitch, your inning is just as important. If you give up runs in the sixth, you never get to the eighth. Sometimes in the seventh you might face a tougher part of the order than the eighth.”
Asked if there was some physical reason the Yankees wouldn’t consider starting Chamberlain, Girardi answered, “No, not necessarily. It’s probably hard to bounce back and forth all the time. Then you end up with an innings limitation again. I think it’s really important that you have an awesome bullpen and I think he can be a big part of that. … We just decided at this point that’s where he fits the best and that’s where we’re going to put him.”
Responding to a similar question, Cashman said, “I think we’ve seen over time now that his stuff plays so much better as a reliever than as a starter … As a result of everything leading up to and including last spring.”
A reporter then tried to float the case that Chamberlain’s numbers as a starter compared favorably to what Ivan Nova or Sergio Mitre might provide.
“He’s in the bullpen,” Cashman said.
Did Boston’s big winter push the Soriano deal?
Cashman said he never heard that the Yankees needed to react to Boston’s moves specifically, but Hal Steinbrenner felt that there needed to be an upgrade of some kind for the fan base. The decision went beyond just the baseball operations department, he added.
“I think [Steinbrenner] just felt we needed to do something, regardless,” Cashman said. “That’s how it was conveyed; ‘We’re not going to go into Spring Training without us doing something big.’ And this is big.”
Will Soriano fit in the clubhouse? Sure, Girardi says
There have been whispers that Soriano has had trouble with previous managers, including being upset with coming into non-save situations and being asked to pitch more than one inning. You would think that will be different with Mariano Rivera in New York.
Girardi said that reputation won’t be a problem, as he wants to “give everyone a clean slate” and tries to get to know each of his players as much as possible.
Are the Yankees a better team today?
Girardi figures the ’11 team is better than the one that walked off the field after Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS. “I think we’ve added to our bullpen, added another left-hander (in Pedro Feliciano), and I think we’re a better club because we’ve been through it,” he said.
More pitching on the way?
There has been buzz on the Hot Stove about the Yankees potentially showing interest in the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga – he of the imperfect Jim Joyce game – who was designated for assignment. He’s easily one of the more appealing options out there, given the marketplace.
Regarding another possible upgrade to the rotation, Cashman said: “I hope so. The starter might have to come from within. Hopefully we have some of these young kids answer the bell for us. In the meantime, we’ll still keep our eyes and ears open to the remaining market, which is very limited.”
He added: “It’s a difficult market to choose from. Listen, if you’re still on the board, there’s a reason for it.”
Captain leading off
As of this moment, Girardi says he has Derek Jeter penciled in to be the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. Hitting coach Kevin Long has said that he’d like to use Spring Training to experiment with different combinations.
He really, really likes ‘Sweet Caroline.’ As in, the Neil Diamond song and Fenway Park eighth-inning fan anthem.“The first time I heard that I [was] with Seattle in ’02,” Soriano said in August. “I [saw] everybody going crazy singing that song in Boston. Every time I pitched the eighth, I [heard] the words. I like it, I like it. It makes me feel good.”So good – so good?He’s extremely confident – and, apparently, crushes breakfast.“I think he absolutely feels like he’s the man,” Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said. “But I can remember as far back as Spring Training saying that he [exudes confidence even] at the breakfast table. And he really does. The scowl and the cocksure attitude are not just a ploy for the ninth inning. That’s the way that he walks around. I think that’s more of his personality than it is a game-time mechanism for him to get up for the ballgame.”He has mysterious gestures on the mound, and won’t tell you what they mean.I’ll let MLB.com’s Bill Chastain explain:When Soriano enters the game, he bends over and uses his right index finger to scribble something in the dirt on the backside of the mound. He then removes his hat, appearing to read some message on the underside of the brim. When asked what he is doing in either case, Soriano smiled.“That is for Soriano,” he said. “I keep that for me. That would be something that’s mine. A lot of people ask me about it. That’s mine, I don’t [tell anyone].”